Trade Perspectives: Enough with the Front Foil Stamping!


Maybe I'm a little anal-retentive (though what comics fan isn't), but I like my trade paperbacks to stay in good condition. That's why when I shelve them on my bookshelf, I store them in bags; that's why when I read them, I'm careful not to bend the spines.

And when I read a hardcover, of course, I take the jacket off. A dust jacket, I know, is supposed to protect a book, but increasingly I find myself protecting the dust jacket from the world at large.

Now, with all the new DC Comics hardcovers, more and more when I take off the jacket I find ... a foil-stamped cover! Foil stamping on the hardcover spine I expect, and the occasional stamped cover I can deal with. But increasingly I'm finding ever more intricate cover stampings; see the full Justice League logo on Justice League of America hardcovers, the Justice Society eagle on Justice Society hardcovers, even a scene of Batman and Ra's al Ghul fighting on Batman: The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul!

As if trying not to crease the pages, trying not to bend the spine, trying not to damage the jacket, and trying not to scuff the edges all weren't enough ... I now have to endeavor not to flake the stamping off the front of my hardcovers! It's getting so that I have to hold my hardcover three feet away with salad tongs to read it, just to keep a collection in good shape.

Please, oh please DC Comics -- we know you're high end, and we know you're fancy ... now enough with the front stamping already!

[Paid for by Readers Against Front Stamping and the Society for Tongue-in-Cheek Blog Posts.]

Comments ( 7 )

  1. Nooooo, you can't get rid of the foil stamping! I took a few trades with me on holiday last week, and the cool foil stamps on Agents of Atlas, Young Avengers and Immortal Iron Fist were both unexpected and very chic.

  2. Interesting, so what does Marvel's foil stamping look like?

  3. I love the foil stamping too. Why wouldn't I want my hardcover to look pretty and feel like I got more bang for my buck?


  4. Collected, they generally just feature a tasteful and moderately-sized version of the book's logo - or, in the case of books like Iron Fist, simply print the name. Basic, yes, but undoubtedly effective, especially if you're trying to have the book taken a little more seriously by those of your fellows who look down on comics.

  5. I will say the holographic foil on the case of Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes is mondo cool.

    Anon -- my concern is that the foil stamping flakes off, such that a few years down the road you end up with a hardcover that looks unnecessarily beat up. The foil doesn't come off easily, but it does come off.

  6. Those covers are one of the main reasons I'm willing to pay a few more bucks for the HC! I find them to be very beautiful and they add to the overall design value of the book.

    As for the flaking concerns, I've got Marvel OHCs going back to 2002 and they're still in perfect shape. I mean, library have been using this technology for years without any concerns about the durability of the books.

  7. I buy very few hardcovers any more, except for series I already have in hardcover (Green Lantern), but not new ones (I wasn't about to switch over to Detective in hardcover with Private Casebook!).

    So the foil doesn't come off for you? I'm always concerned that if I have a hardcover pressed against my leg, the foil's going to come off. Maybe I should experiment, though I'd hate to be wrong ...


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